Navy Hymn
US Naval Academy Glee Club
3 minutes 12 seconds
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Paul A. Benko Sr.
USS Helena CL-50, 1940 - 1943. BM2, 3rd Division

The above picture colored by our good friend John Galla (deceased), USS Des Moines CA-134

Paul A. Benko Sr.

Apr. 1, 1922 ~ Apr. 2, 2016

Resident of San Pablo, CA

Paul passed away peacefully with family at his side.
He was 94. Preceded in death by wife Charlotte Thanes Benko,
daughter Judith Benko Barton and grandson Patrick McKinney.
Paul was a resident of San Pablo for 70 years. Born in Danville,
Illinois. He attended and graduated from Woodruff High School
in Peoria, where he was a gymnast, yell leader and football quarterback.
He was also golden gloves champion for the bantam weight division in Chicago.

After high school he joined the Navy as a deep sea diver. He was stationed
on the naval ship USS Helena, which had been kamikaze once and torpedoed
twice. One time after being torpedoed at Pearl Harbor. When the attack started
at Pearl Harbor, Paul bravely jumped on one of the "big guns" and took some
of the first shots at the enemy before his ship went down. He then jumped
overboard and was rescued from the waters by a passing rescue boat.

He left the Navy after 6 years with a wife and 2 children and moved to San Pablo.
He enjoyed water skiing, fishing, gambling at the casinos and drinking! He was
Vice President and CEO of Lloyd Gordon Mfg. for 39 years. Retiring in 1983.
After retirement he traveled the world.

He is survived by daughter, Paula Benko Vandygriff of San Pablo,
son Paul Benko Jr., of Michigan and Niece Lesley Hill Welden, of Nevada City.
7 grandchildren, Ron Read Jr., of Livermore, Sean McKinney & Mike McKinney
of Brentwood, Kiersten Peddie & Kim Rixen of El Sobrante and Steven Benko
& Daniel Benko of Michigan. 14 Great Grand children, and 6 great great grandchildren.

There will be a celebration of life at his residence, 2779 Bowhill Lane, San Pablo, CA
on April 16, 2016 at 2pm